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Judge Refuses to Halt Clean Trucks Program

Pending final ruling, Port urges truckers to help improve air quality

September 9, 2008

A U.S. District Court judge refused Monday, September 8, 2008, to stop the Port of Long Beach's landmark Clean Trucks Program, which on October 1 will start improving the region's air quality by banning the oldest, most polluting trucks.

The American Trucking Association had sought a preliminary injunction to block the Port from using a concession system to require trucking firms to dispatch only clean trucks to the Port and dispatch only drivers who have undergone a security background check and obtained a federal Transportation Worker Identification Credential. At a hearing Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder circulated a temporary ruling, rejecting the preliminary injunction.

"Concessions are a key element of our Clean Trucks Program so that we can bring a new generation of clean trucks and clean air to this region, and so we can begin a new era in port security," said James Hankla, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. "We will move forward on October 1 with our Clean Trucks Program, including a ban on dirty diesel trucks and our Clean Trucks Fee, which were not challenged, so we can help clean the air in Long Beach and the region."

The Clean Trucks Program on October 1 will start phasing out dirty trucks from port service by barring all 1988 and older vehicles. By 2012, all trucks entering Port terminals must have engines that meet 2007 federal emission standards, which are 80 percent cleaner than existing engines. Also on October 1, the Port will begin assessing a fee of $35 per 20-foot-long cargo container to fund a truck replacement financial assistance program that will help truck owners to comply with the clean truck deadlines.

Thousands of truck drivers have already signed on to the Port's Clean Trucks Program, promising to bring clean trucks to the Port. "We urge all truckers to join us in improving air quality and moving cargo," said Hankla.

To view a copy of the judge's ruling, click here.

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